MLA questions environment minister on re-routing pipeline
Kinder Morgan's planned upgrades to the 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline include the reactivation of another pipe under Hinton and adding a new pumping station to the existing one west of town.
"They’re basically trying to sell us a pipeline, and that concerns us." — Michael Hale
A Fraser Valley MLA is concerned over the route a twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline would take through his constituency, telling the minister of environment he’d like the direction changed to avoid municipal water supplies.
The request came in a letter to Environment Minister Mary Polak that was released in a package of Freedom of Information responses.
Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness said in a letter that while he wants the pipeline to succeed, he was concerned about its route going over a local aquifer feeding Hope’s water supply.
“Any kind of spill nearby would endanger that source as well as its high reputation,” Throness wrote Feb 19. “I would therefore request that the new pipeline be routed away from this important water source.”
He also asked for special protection going through other areas of the riding, citing concerns involving a bottled water company, agriculture and the Cheam wetlands.
Kinder Morgan has proposed twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline to bring petroleum products from Alberta to a terminal in Burnaby on Burrard Inlet before being shipped overseas.
Michael Hale of Pipe Up Network, which describes itself as a pro-information, pro-environment group, said pipeline concerns extend beyond this one riding, as the route runs past or through the water supplies of many communities.
“They’re basically trying to sell us a pipeline, and that concerns us,” Hale said. “They try to portray everything in the very best light possible so we don’t have confidence that we’re getting the straight goods.”
He said given the concerns, his group wants the issue to be subject to a vote.
Hale said he’s also worried the National Energy Board review of the project will not be straightforward and trustworthy.